U.N. Corridor Vote; Moscow Shapes Post-American Narrative in Syria

Images such as this of Syria’s dead children have circulated for years, as the brutal war challenges faith in human rights. 

Weekly Roundup Updates

By Rachel Brooks

July 10, 2021 

This week in human rights 

Analysis

The vice tightens on human rights issues in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. Multi-regional human rights issues topped headlines. 

Human rights rising challenges demand a response from the new American presidency. Politico notes the growing pressure on the Biden administration to respond to attacks on the U.S. troops stationed in Syria and Iraq. The outlet states that conflict tests Biden’s resolve to steer the U.S. away from decades-long Middle East wars.

A closer look at Syria. 

On July 9, Amnesty International commented on the U.N. Security vote in favor of a Russia-China appeasing compromise over the number of Syria’s aid corridors left open. Human rights agencies sound outcry. As the Western influence flounders, Moscow appears to capitalize on missteps. 

The U.N. Votes on Corridor Compromise in Northwest Syria 

Western agencies argue that the U.N. is not doing enough to meet the humanitarian demand in Syria. Amnesty International writes that the U.N. Security Council voted on the Syria corridor compromise vote that fell short of the human need in the region. The U.N. vote passed a resolution renewing authorization for the Bab al-Hawa crossing, a humanitarian corridor for U.N. aid traffic from Turkey into Syria. This authorization initially expired on July 10. The vote renews corridor traffic authorization for six months. 

 Complaints from Russia and China result in the renewal of the Bab-al Hawa crossing point authorization and not the al-Yarubiyah and Bab al-Salam. Civil rights activists, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France advocate additional crossings. 

Amnesty argued that the compromise resolution was yet another example of Russian disregard for the needs of Syrians. The agency contends that the vote is playing political games with millions of souls.

Moscow Response Narrative 

Response to media reports about the corridor renewal was mixed. Social media buzzed with ironic laughter as people who could not identify Syria on a map weighed in.

Conspiracy theories dubbed Russia Gate, as well as Assadists, circled the social threads. Protests rose against the Assad regime and Russian interventionism in the Syria crisis. 

Liberal commentators laughed at these theories, and pro-Biden outlets such as CNN praise the compromise vote as a “key diplomatic win” for the administration.

 Yet, as leftist Americans celebrate, foreign media outlets seemed to give them some credibility to Russia conspiracy arguments. Russia appears focused on undermining the U.S. as a negotiator in the region.  

The Italian media outlet L’AntiDiplomatico writes that Moscow influences a post-American narrative in Syria. 

Russia Special Envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev warned the Kurds that the U.S. militias in Syria would abandon them as they left Afghanistan. The envoy warned the Syrian Democratic Forces against depending on Washington. Lavrentiev cited former U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria. He argues that, while American withdraw from Syria has been postponed, the process could implement at any time. 

Russian tendency to undermine the U.S. presence mirrors the Assadist narrative, as he consistently denounces the U.S. forces in the region. 

As It Happens

The Biden administration sees policy challenges on multi-faceted fronts with Syria crisis criticism. With the U.S. forces engaged by Iranian-backed militias, Biden’s softer stance on the Iranian regime’s leaders sees rising heat from his political opposition.

The tensions between American bipartisan policy-makers boil under the added pressure of foreign wars. Republicans criticize the bare minimum approach of the Biden administration toward the Middle East, says Politico. 

Our Take 

This section contains opinions which are attributed solely to their author. 

Biden’s administration establishes the Middle East withdrawal policy to focus their efforts on Russia-China deterrence. They also prioritize ending the COVID-19 pandemic. Russian intervention in the Middle East may force the Biden administration to recalculate Middle East policy, as it overlaps wide-scope goals.

Appeasement policies will deepen the ire of the Biden opposition. Rancor characterizes all domestic American politics at this moment. A nonpartisan foreign policy becomes a domestic priority for Biden if he wishes to turn the burners of at-home debate down. As Biden steps on the invisible scale of political worth Republican opposition weighs him against the celebrity of his predecessor. A tit-for-tit of criticism ignites as a result. The response from pro-Biden Americans accelerates domestic conflict. Biden needs a win in the region. One that Russia’s media will not let him obtain without dragging the U.S. image through fire.